for the days when you hit the wall

This week I hit the wall.

Has that ever happened to you?

I’ve been cruising along at a steady pace for several months now.  My daily life flowed well, and I felt capable to do the tasks at hand.  My burden was light, my days full, but not heavy.  Life was  … well, pretty good.

This week, it’s like I’m running through mud.

Dinner seems too burdensome to possibly manage.  Housework is so Sisyphean that more than once I’ve stared at toys on the floor and wondered out loud why I should even bother.  Just keeping my children alive and generally pointed toward the hope of education seems to require every ounce of my mental and physical energy.  Suddenly my daily life is just. too. hard.

What happened?

I was grooving right along.  Where did my stride go?  Why is normal life inexplicably more work than it should be this week?

For me, when life is harder than it should be, chances are I’ve given too much energy to the future.

Like Dana, the harder I stare at all the possibilities, the more I am incapacitated by them.  I get overwhelmed by all of the “what ifs,” and I freeze.  I am finite, unable to live in tomorrow and today at the same time.  When I focus on tomorrow, today is too much for me to handle.

During the weeks when I’ve hit the wall, I pray for grace.  I no longer ask for an escape from my responsibilities, but I ask God for the grace to be fully present in my life.  In this day, this moment, right now.  In the middle of the mess, in the middle of the tantrum.  Help me to just live where I am, and keep looking for evidence of Your Hand here.

My tasks are the same, but when I stay present, they are not nearly as hard. Today God answered that prayer with an impromptu dance party in the kitchen, an unexpected quiet hour in the afternoon, schoolwork completed with little complaining.  My burden is lighter, my responsibilities more manageable.

The longer that I just stay here, the more clearly I can see the traces of grace around me.  As I receive grace, I have more to give to others.

When that happens, I can keep running as far as I need to go.

 

Stephanie Gates

I am Stephanie - mom to four beautifully rambunctious little kids and wife to a guy who still makes me smile. I recently moved to Colorado, where I am falling in love with the mountains and the Anglican church. If you have ever abandoned religion in search of faith, ever had to leave your hometown to find your home, or ever climbed to the very tip-top of a jungle gym to rescue an overzealous toddler, come sit next to me.We'll talk.

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About Stephanie Gates

I am Stephanie - mom to four beautifully rambunctious little kids and wife to a guy who still makes me smile. I recently moved to Colorado, where I am falling in love with the mountains and the Anglican church. If you have ever abandoned religion in search of faith, ever had to leave your hometown to find your home, or ever climbed to the very tip-top of a jungle gym to rescue an overzealous toddler, come sit next to me. We'll talk.

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